Monday, November 30, 2009

LOC Claims Stadia 95% Complete

Officials from the Local Organizing Committee say that the five new stadia and the five renovated stadia are "more than 95%" complete and will be ready on-time to host the World Cup.

Stadium construction faced many challenges, including strikes in July when more than 70 000 workers asked for salary hikes, countrywide blackouts in January 2008 that crippled the economy, budget deficits and sometimes unpredictable weather.

"It has been a roller-coaster ride. Sometimes we were happy and most times saddened by the criticism and the pessimism but we always knew we would be ready on time," local organising committee spokesman Rich Mkhondo told AFP.

World Cup stadiums 95% complete
Mail & Guardian
November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stadium Opens in Durban

The second of the brand new World Cup stadia has opened in Durban.

The Moses Mabhida stadium is named after a former leader of the South African Communist Party, and will host seven matches during the World Cup.

The stadium's outstanding feature is a cable car which ascends to a viewing platform at the top of a 350m arch.

Durban stadium opens
November 29, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cities Compete to Play Home Base to Teams

The cities and regions of South Africa are competing to play a second tour of hosting duties -- this time as temporary home bases for World Cup competitors during the tournament. While Cape Town and the Western Cape in general are already in the sights of many teams, geographic realities may stop some teams from making the region their base.

But the Western Cape was forced to lobby against two factors over which it had no control: altitude and rainfall.

"Some teams are very determined to be training at altitude because they believe they must if they want to win the World Cup final which is in Johannesburg, even though the two semi-finals will be held at sea level," Platzky said at an investor breakfast in Cape Town on Thursday.

Call for 2010 teams to use Cape as home base
Independent Online
November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jo'Burg Roads Agency Pledges Readiness

The Johannesburg Roads Agency is assuring officials that the city's roads will be ready for the World Cup.

"The JRA had set aside more than R30-million for refurbishing infrastructure for next year's spectacle. The money would be spent on fixing potholes, trenches, traffic signals and sidewalks, among other things."
Joburg road on right track
Independent Online
November 17, 2009

15 Cities Vie for Inclusion in England's 2018 World Cup Bid

Hoping to get into the country's plans for a possible 2018 World Cup hosting gig, 15 English cities have submitted applications to play hosts during the event.

About 10 cities will be chosen from a list that includes London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Derby, Hull and Newcastle-Gateshead.

Nottingham, Plymouth, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Sunderland and Bristol are also candidates.

The chosen venues will be announced by the 2018 bid team on 16 December.

Cities make case to be in England's 2018 World Cup bid
November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Johannesburg Halts inner-City BRT Lines

The City of Johannesburg has stalled the inner-city routes of its new bus rapid transit system.

Lack of signs, poor salesmanship, insufficient enforcement of traffic rules and lack of interest from commuters were cited for the closure.

The two routes, which started on September 21, will run on Wednesday for the last time, but are expected to return early next year.

"The Soweto/Ellis Park trunk services will continue to operate normally and are not affected by the withdrawal of the Inner City circle distribution routes," said council spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane.

Rea Vaya routes suspended
The Star
November 17, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Host Cities and Stadia Prepare Disaster Plans

Local officials in host cities and their stadia are preparing plans for any and all foreseeable disasters during the 2010 World Cup. Tests are planned for early 2010.

"Measures are being implemented to reduce disaster risk by all applicable line function departments and relevant agencies in the city," said Greg Pillay, head of the city's disaster risk management centre.

"Planning for stadium evacuation has been completed and this aspect will be tested when the stadium building is finished."

Tests would be carried out during the first quarter of next year. It was expected "test events" would be held at the new stadium.

Schalk Carstens, head of the province's 2010 disaster risk management team, said every possible risk was being assessed.

Range of 'disasters' put to test for 2010
Cape Argus
November 10, 2009

Gautrain Operation Set to Begin Late

The Gautrain regional train system will not be operational until half-way through the World Cup tournament, according to Gautrain officials. The regional system had planned to have the first leg of its system operational between Johannesburg, Pretoria, and OR Tambo International Airport in time for the 2010 World Cup, beginning in June.

Organisers of South Africa 2010 had hoped fans would arrive at Johannesburg airport and board a high-speed train to the commercial centre.

Instead, most football fans' first experience will now be a taxi or a shuttle bus and more than likely a sizable traffic jam, our correspondent says.

For the past three years builders have been working on the Gautrain - an ambitious $3.5bn (£2bn) project linking Johannesburg, Pretoria and the airport.

Contractors, under pressure to complete before next June's deadline, demanded an additional $180m (£107m) to accelerate their work and hit the target.

SA World Cup rail project delayed
November 9, 2009

Amid Cape Town Concerns, Transportation Contingency Plan Unveiled by FIFA

FIFA is preparing a contingency plan in Cape Town, should the city's developing Integrated Rapid Transit plan not come to full fruition by the May 2010 deadline.

In its September update of the plan, Fifa notes that the May 2010 deadline to have the Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system running is "very tight and the possibility that this service may not be available for the event poses a considerable risk to the planning of the even transport services".

The extent of the top-up transport services that will be needed for the event will depend on how much of the IRT will be ready. The first phase of the IRT has been scaled down because of escalating costs. The project, estimated to cost R1.3 billion a year ago, will now cost the city R4.3bn.

Cape Town contingency plan for 2010
Cape Times
November 9, 2009

Cape Town's New Terminal Makes Airport Truly International

After five years of development, a new terminal has opened at Cape Town International Airport -- part of the country's infrastructural improvements ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

The multi-billion-rand Central Terminal Building has 120 check-in counters, 20 self-service check-in machines, eight air bridges, 11 bus gates and an automated baggage-sorting system.

The terminal cost R1.6 billion.

New terminal hailed as a success
Weekend Argus
November 8, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

England Fans to Flood South Africa, Despite Security Concerns

With a large amount of England supporters expected to descend upon South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, security concerns loom over travel plans. Some estimate 100,000 England fans will be visiting South Africa during the World Cup.

For their part, England fans will inevitably have concerns about security in a country with one of the highest crime rates in the world. Police chiefs say that the huge blanket deployment of police and security officers (41,000 dedicated to policing the World Cup alone) will make the country far safer during the tournament than outside it and point out that visitors should be reassured that the vast majority of the worryingly high crime statistics are accounted for by cases where the victim knows the perpetrator.

South Africa prepares for England fans by addressing the fear factor
The Guardian
November 6, 2009

With Hotel Shortage, WC Organizers Plan Post-Match Fan Transport

World Cup organizers have announced plans to assist the mobilization of fans out of host cities after tournament matches due to projected shortfalls in accommodations.

Away from the main urban centres of Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, fans could face a long night after evening games. As well as South Africa's main cities, organisers have signed deals to accommodate them in neighbouring countries such as Swaziland, Botswana and Mozambique. Some supporters will even stay on the holiday island of Mauritius.

The mass airlift will employ a shuttle system introduced on a smaller scale by Uefa to ferry Chelsea and Manchester United fans back from Moscow following the 2008 Champions League final.

World Cup organising committee chairman Danny Jordaan said that over 200 extra planes and more than 1,000 additional buses would be pressed into action. Supporters will funnel away from stadiums and be placed on the first available flight. Smaller hosts such as Polokwane and Nelspruit will be among the worst affected.

World Cup organisers plan mass evacuation of spectators after matches
The Guardian
November 6, 2009

New Stadia Need Huge Crowds to Sustain Over Long-Term

The long-term viability of South Africa's new football stadia is being questioned by many in the country. One critic says each of the new stadia will need to attract 30,000 spectators every week for nine months of the year to pay off the large investment cities have made in the five new World Cup venues.

[Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive Albert] Schuitmaker says it is unlikely that the vast investment in World Cup stadiums will ever produce acceptable returns.

"It has not done so in many countries which have hosted World Cups and Olympic Games. Indeed some stadiums have been demolished soon after the event."

Will 2010 stadiums survive?
Independent Online
November 5, 2009

Concerns Over Future of World Cup Stadia

Questions surround the future of Cape Town's new stadium, which many argue will be too small for cricket, too big for football, and too unfamiliar for the city's established rugby teams.

These are questions facing all of South Africa's 2010 World Cup host cities.

There is fierce debate about what to do with it afterwards to make it pay once 13,000 temporary seats, which will boost capacity to 68,000 during the tournament, have been removed. It is too small for cricket, the city's two professional football clubs attract just 15,000 fans each, and much will depend on whether city grandees can persuade the city's rugby clubs to swap the history of Newlands for the comfort of the new stadium.

A consortium comprising Stade de France and a South African sports marketing agency will take on the running of the 4.5bn Rand stadium after the World Cup, paying 30% of their profits to local government coffers. But with five such major new stadiums scattered across this vast country, and rugby the only sport really capable of sustaining them, it is seen as almost inevitable that some will lose out and go on to be tagged as white elephants – a phrase that has become the enemy of any city or country bidding for a major sporting event in an era when the buzzwords are sustainability and legacy.

South Africa diary: day one
The Guardian
November 3, 2009

World Cup Expands South Africa's Tourism Draw

The World Cup is being foreseen as an opportunity for South Africa to gain a tourism foothold in new foreign markets, especially in the Americas.

Qualifying nations such as Mexico and Honduras will raise South Africa's profile in the Americas, while strong ticket sales in the United States will give the country a new boost among American travellers, he told parliament's tourism committee.

"Mexico, Honduras, these are all completely new markets. The US has bought the higest number of tickets, 82 000," he said. "It carries great opportunity if we can strengthen tourism in the US market."

World Cup to boost SA tourism, organisers say
Independent Online
November 3, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cape Town Transit-Taxi Talks Break Down

Negotiations between taxi operators and local transit officials are breaking down in Cape Town, where officials have refused requests by taxi officials to hold explanatory conference sessions with taxi drivers to clear the air about the city's Integrated Rapid Transit system.

Taxi operators walked out of an IRT workshop with mayor Dan Plato yesterday after he rejected a proposal to hold a conference for the province's more than 5 000 taxi drivers to explain the IRT process.

Speaking after the meeting, Western Cape National Taxi Association (NTA) spokesman Mvuyisi Mente said talks had deadlocked and that it was now up to the city council to contact them with a date for a provincial "indaba".

IRT: Talks with taxi men break down
Cape Argus
November 3, 2009

Property Owners Holding Out on Development Ahead of World Cup

Property owners are still holding on to their assets right now, hoping to cash in on their rising value as the World Cup nears.

Owners are keeping their investment properties empty until the World Cup soccer tournament in 2010, said Seef Properties on Wednesday.

"I am increasingly being asked by owners to withhold their investment property to ensure availability during the World Cup," Jules Arnott of Seef Properties said in a statement.

Arnott said that Match, the Fifa-endorsed ticketing and accommodation booking agents for VIPs, sponsors and media to the World Cup, did not cater for the marketing of non-graded residential accommodation for the average fan.

Property owners eyeing World Cup
Independent Online
November 4, 2009

First World Cup, Then Olympics?

South Africa's World Cup Local Organizing Committee CEO Danny Jordaan is hoping the successful hosting of the 2010 World Cup will set the country up for a possible Olympic hosting gig in the near future.

"The one event Africa has not hosted is the Olympics," Jordaan told the portfolio committee on tourism.

"A successful World Cup will put pressure on the IOC to award for the first time since 1896 the Olympics to Africa."

The first modern-day Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens, Greece.

"Africa has waited 100 years for the Fifa World Cup to be awarded. It has now waited more than 100 years for the Olympics to be awarded to Africa."

Jordaan hints at Olympic bid
Independent Online
November 3, 2009

New Terminal Opens at Cape Town International

A new terminal at Cape Town International Airport has opened, and officials are calling it ready to handle the crowds expected during the 2010 World Cup.

Cape Town International Airport's readiness has been put to the test shortly before Terminal 2010 - the new multi-million-rand central terminal building - opens.

A mass simulation exercise with 500 participants, including airport staff, porters and dummy passengers, was held last week to test the readiness of the new terminal ahead of the opening next Saturday.

South Africa: Cape Airport 'Ready'
Cape Argus
October 30, 2009

Cape Residents Rather Hitch Than Taxi

Eastern Cape Transit official MEC Ghishima Barry says locals are more likely to hitchhike than take a taxi, mainly due to concerns over driving safety and the violence in which the industry has participated against the country's push for more public transit.

Speaking at a "hitch-hiking indaba" in East London, he said the industry in the province had been losing its clientele base.

Many commuters no longer felt safe travelling in taxis.

The industry needed to review the training taxi drivers received in disciplines like customer care and proper driving skills.

ECape travellers 'prefer hitching to taxis'
Independent Online
October 29, 2009

Tshwane Taxi Officials Look for Role in BRT Planning

Taxi officials in Tshwane are calling on local officials to include them in planning talks on the creation of a bus rapid transit system -- an effort to create a collaborative and cooperative development relationship between taxi drivers and transit officials. Other parts of the country have seen antagonism and even violence between the two stakeholder groups as BRT plans developed.

Moeletsi Thulo, chairperson of the Soshanguve Taxi Association and the SA Local and Long Distance Taxi and Bus Organisation, told Pretoria News at the launch of a BRT station in Soshanguve on Wednesday that they wanted to see the system running smoothly and catering for all people.

The concept designs of the multi-million rand project were launched by executive mayor Gwen Ramokgopa, who said the municipality was committed to involving all stakeholders in the implementation of the BRT project.

Taxi boss hits positive note on BRT plan
Pretoria News
October 29, 2009

Stadia 85% Complete

All of the new stadia being built for the 2010 World Cup are more than 85% complete, according to the Local Organizing Committee.

Now all that is left is for the finishing touches to be done to the stadium bowls and the construction on the precinct areas around the stadiums.

The stadiums will then be handed over to the 2010 Fifa World Cup Organising Committee South Africa.

Our venues are among the best
Daily News
October 28, 2009

Road Safety a Concern for Officials During Cup

Transportation officials are calling on locals to drive patiently when roads become crowded during the World Cup. South Africa's notoriously dangerous roads will be stressed with an influx of tourists during the Cup, and officials are trying figure out how to ensure safety.

One of the biggest concerns ahead of the event, says Ashref Ismail, national traffic enforcement co-ordinator and head of 2010 operations at the Road Traffic Management Corporation, is how locals and international visitors will get along on the roads.

He said the Road Traffic Management Corporation had consulted traffic authorities in Germany and other World Cup host cities, and was working on a strategy to deal with motorists before and after matches.

2010: Plea for more tolerance on the roads
Cape Argus
October 28, 2009

Cape Town Taxes to Rise as Transit Costs Increase

Property taxes are expected to rise in Cape Town, as costs for the city's integrated rapid transit project balloon.

Ratepayers will bear the brunt of the ballooning costs of the City of Cape Town's R4.5-billion public transport system and the expected R99-million operating shortfall - by paying higher property taxes, parking and fuel levies, paying for permits to use the city's roads or by contributing to a new Local Business Tax.

It was estimated in August, 2008, that the first phase of the Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) would cost R1.3bn.

But a year later, the city council was asked to downscale the first phase because of unexpected cost escalations. These escalations are now under forensic audit and the findings are expected to be released this week.

Ratepayers to fork out for heavy IRT costs
Cape Times
October 27, 2009

Cape Town Hoteliers Preparing for Tourist Influx

Owners of bed-and-breakfast accommodations in Cape Town-area townships are developing their own strategy to meet the expected influx of tourists during the 2010 World Cup.

B&B owners in Gugulethu, Langa and Khayelitsha have developed their own hospitality strategy for the event - without Match, Fifa's official hospitality partner for the World Cup.

The strategy includes:

# Launching a website where fans can book and get information on township accommodation.

# Ensuring that township restaurants and B&Bs are equipped with everything the average soccer fan needs.

# Developing a plan to ensure visitors are kept safe.

Townships prepare for 2010 influx
Cape Argus
October 23, 2009